Let’s talk Sugar (And other mood destabilizing foods)
Mood stabilizing food has been on my radar for awhile I recently picked up a book called the “Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. You can get this awesome book on amazon, audible or her website http://www.moodcure.com/. She talks about all the ways our bodies are struggling in different areas whether it is blood sugar, serotonin, thyroid issues, endorphins, or low cortisol. For this experiment, I will be focusing mainly on serotonin as I try to completely abstain from taking medicinal aids for my chronic depression and other struggles in mental health. I will also be monitoring my blood sugar and keeping it at a regulated level so I do not need to add other sugars to my diet apart from natural fruits and vegetables.
I have been struggling for most of my life with the inability to curb my satisfaction of sugary drinks and overloading myself of caffeine. I would then still be tired and lethargic throughout my days and have to capitalize on that large coffee around four pm on the regular.
At twenty I started deep diving into a depression that I can hardly pull myself out. So, of course, my family doctor not a psychiatrist threw so medicine at me. It did not work, but the withdrawals and other side effects kept me complacent in taking the medicine. Eventually, I was put on a pill regime of taking over five medicines a day. Keeping them organized was hard for me and taking them at the right times would be exhausting. If I was even thirty minutes off it would throw me off.
So recently I picked up a few books and started learning about my diet and how mental health could definitely be an issue with how I am eating.
Molly’s regular diet:
Toast with egg OR Oatmeal with brown sugar and raspberries
Coffee with Almond Milk
Something sugary OR salty
Sandwich with veggies and fruit
Sugar sugar sugar
This diet allows me to curb all of my needs that are to be caffeinated and to have sugar levels that are on par with what I think I need. The truth is humans do not need this much sugar. Imagine when we were hunter/gatherers we would have to search for days or months to find this kind of sugar intake that we have in this modern era. This coupled with my lack of serotonin and lack of sleep from a job that I have been doing is very stressful. So with the stress, I love to stress eat or stress starve. When I stress eat it’s generally snack type foods with simple carbs and high sugar.
Usually to fix serotonin levels you are going to get what I got: SSRI’s or Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are the drugs for major depressive disorders or anxiety disorders that people are taking all the time. These are the drugs that are constantly thrown at us targeting the symptoms, but not the root of what is going on.
To break it down serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that treats depression when you lack this depression can overtake our brain. Livingstrong.com comments on serotonin by saying the following: “B complex vitamins, such as thiamine and folic acid, also affect serotonin. Doctors prescribe antidepressants to help raise the brain’s serotonin levels in people suffering from depression. The brain uses the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, as long as the process is not blocked by conflicting amino acids.”
So my thought is that if I want to get better I should start to take supplements that are naturally occurring in the world rather than eating SSRI’s that leave me with brain fog and lack of energy. On top of this, I will add Serotonin Rich foods to my diet.
Molly’s New Diet:
Brown rice with egg
Water to drink
Banana Chocolate Milkshake
Cauliflower and broccoli
Dark green veggie salad
Big Salad with Water
The Change Up:
I plan on doing this diet for at least six weeks. Making sure I am eating when I am hungry and adding exercise to boost serotonin. Because I am leaving a job where I constantly working nights I will be able to regulate myself to a healthy sleep pattern that is not causing me more damage. I will be also adding in a regime of different vitamins to add to the various nutrients that are harder to get as a move into a fully vegetarian diet. I choose a vegetarian diet because that is how I feel complete and I actually practiced vegetarianism poorly in my younger years. I also have some feels about the meat industry and how they treat the animals we later consume.
I will also be updating on how my body feels. Currently, I am battling some sort of upper respiratory illness so I am not going to do HIIT or cardio this week but I will do low impact movements, yoga, and pilates. This will allow me to get my hour of physical movement in without working up my body into a coughing fit.
Day One of Week One:
Started out great eating well. I noticed that I gave in a had some decaf coffee with nothing just black. My body received that well but I also need to make sure I am eating more whole foods and not defaulting to snacking. So, friends, I will update you more on Twitter you can follow me there @mollyelyseurban.